This morning I met with the Sr’s Miriam and Judith of Turvey Abbey. Simon took me so I didn’t have to worry about directions and parking etc. The Abbey is absolutely gorgeous as you can see from the photograph which doesn’t actually do either it nor it’s lovely grounds justice. I was very nervous which was silly really as I had no pre-conceived ideas of what to expect but knew that it would be a very ‘gentle’ meeting which is exactly what it was. I told them my ‘story’ and they listened and were just lovely, very understanding of my ‘calling’. I always thought my desire for a religious, vocational life was very unusual among secular men and women living out a regular family life. Apparently not, as the Sr’s assured me that many of the 70 ish oblates at Turvey Abbey come from a similar ‘place’ emotionally. The relief was huge as I actually thought I was a bit weird, either that or I was totally misunderstanding what God was asking of me. The Sr’s also told me that they would put me in contact with existing oblates which I’m really looking forward to. They told me about the process of becoming an oblate, about the weekends coming up next year devoted to that cause and how to move forward in my discernment. It’s not an overnight process which is no surprise as I don’t think this is something that should be taken on lightly or suddenly; not unlike taking religious vows on entering a community – it all takes time and for very good reason. I thought I’d be really excited but in essence I’m actually just very, very calm; full of peace as I know that this is the part of the puzzle that has been missing for such a long time.
After we’d finished talking I spent some time alone in their huge library [it has a vaulted ceiling – wow] as I’d decided to stay for Mass but had an hour or so to kill before it started. It was a lovely room and for those of you who know me well you’ll know that an hour in a room full of thousands of religious books is just my idea of heaven on earth. I’m amazed they managed to shoe horn me out of there. Mass was at 11.50am and it was lovely to hear the nun’s chanting, the monks were also present at the Mass. The one thing that isn’t immediately apparent is that it’s not just a monastry for nun’s [Priory of Our Lady of Peace] there are monks in residence as well [Monastery of Christ Our Saviour] and and, once an oblate, I’ll be an oblate of both communities.
all photo's courtesy of Turvey Abbey
Autumn and Katheryn – I was thinking of you both – with love……